West Ham starlet Declan Rice could be making a ‘terrible mistake’ by choosing England over Republic of Ireland, warns Sam Allardyce

28 Aug

Sam Allardyce has warned West Ham’s Declan Rice that he could be making a ‘terrible mistake’ by choosing to switch his international allegiance from Republic of Ireland to England.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has confirmed reports that the 19-year-old London-born defender is deliberating whether to quit the team to pursue a career with the Three Lions, after he was left out of their squad to play Wales and Poland.

Rice has played three times for Ireland, though not any competitive games

Rice already has three caps for Ireland, earning high praise for his performance in a recent clash against the United States, but as all three of those games have been friendlies, he is still eligible to play for England.

Born in London, the Hammers starlet began playing for the Republic of Ireland Under-16s through his Cork-born grandparents and has progressed right the way through to senior level.

But he is now in contact with the Football Association, over a possible switch to the England ranks.

However, former West Ham manager Allardyce has told the youngster to think hard before making a decision which is likely to shape his international career.

“He’s got to sit down and have a real think about it,” Big Sam said on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

Rice has made one appearance for West Ham this season – in their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool

“Is it better playing for England and it ends up being less than ten matches, or is it better playing for Ireland and playing 60 matches at international level?

“That’s the choice he has to make and it’s a very difficult choice at 19, because he still doesn’t really know how good he’s going to be.

“But it’s a terrible mistake if he chooses England and then doesn’t play.”

Listen back to Sam Allardyce on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast above!